Learning how to eat healthy isn’t nearly as complicated as people think. By practicing these simple habits, healthy eating will become second nature.

Eat A Variety Of Foods

Many diets don’t work in the long run because they either cut out healthy food groups entirely (example, carbs) or severely restrict what you can eat.

With few exceptions, there really isn’t anything you can’t eat as long as you consume these foods in small portions or only once in a while. For example, instead of adding two tablespoons of blueberries to your cup of ice cream, why not add two tablespoons of ice cream to your cup of blue berries?

Portion Control

With the exclusion of consuming large amounts of sugar, weight management is a numbers game. Energy in versus energy out.

This isn’t exactly the case for sugar and processed carbohydrates because they spike insulin, leading to metabolic syndrome and weight gain over time, even if the total amount of calories consumed is restricted. Eating 1300 calories of fruits and vegetables will create a much different outcome than eating 1300 calories of your favorite pie and ice cream; not all calories behave the same way with regards to energy in versus energy out.

In general, you must burn more calories than what you consume in order to lose weight. Portion control is a GREAT strategy for winning this game.

An easy trick is to switch larger plates for smaller ones. So instead of piling food onto a 12-inch plate, use a 9-inch one instead. Your eyes will tell your brain that the plate is loaded BUT there will be fewer calories. Enjoy your food but give yourself 20 minutes before getting seconds because this is how long it takes for your body to tell your brain that you’re full.

One more thing, this should make sense but it bears repeating: Avoid “supersizing” when dining out. The extra calories aren’t worth the trouble.

Make Vegetables And Fruits Your Friend

No one ever got fat by eating non-processed apples or broccoli. Fruits and vegetables fill you up while using fewer calories than other foods. As a matter of fact, some vegetables are negative foods, like celery, meaning it takes more calories to chew and digest them than what they contain.

Remember, when consuming fruit, choose whole fruit instead of juice because you will benefit from all of the fiber that the juicing process leaves out.  Fiber slows how fast sugar enters your blood stream, and it keeps you feeling full longer. So instead of reaching for a glass of juice or handful of chocolate candy, grab an apple instead.

 Go 100% Whole Grain

Not all grains are created equal – even those that are labeled “whole wheat.”

Tip: 100% whole grains keep the bran and germ that are otherwise lost during processing. You want “100% whole grain” or “100% whole wheat” to be listed on the product or that it carries the “Whole Grain Stamp” on its packaging.

 Reduce Added Sugar

Sugar is a simple carbohydrate that food manufacturers are adding to their products. It’s being added to everything.

Tip: Look at the nutrition label to see if sugar has been added. Also look to see how much fiber is listed. If there’s more added sugar than fiber, it’s not a healthy choice.

The tricky thing is that these clever food companies like to stuff added sugars into their foods by hiding it under different names. Just know that if the ingredient ends in “ose” it’s most likely a hidden sugar.

 Eat Healthy Fats

There are three types of fats: saturated, unsaturated and trans.

Tip: Avoid trans-fats at all costs because over time they create disease in your body.

Trans fat is a “manufactured” fat that the body doesn’t know how to handle, so it stores it as bodyfat.

Also, replace saturated fat with healthy unsaturated fats, like olive oil or avocado.

Lastly, do your best to get omega 3 fats, which can be found in flaxseed, fish or daily supplements.

 Reduce Red Meat Consumption

You knew this one was coming didn’t you. Strive to reduce your intake of red meat. Many of the cuts are high in saturated fat, which is bad for your heart and cardiovascular system. If this sounds difficult, start slowly by going without red meat just one day a week. And as your system adapts, add more days.

Although we’ve covered a lot in this post, these seven habits are really easy to implement. Which one(s) would you consider trying this week? Just by reducing the total number of calories consumed each day, making sure they’re calories from primarily healthy foods, will help you lose weight and regain your health.

Add a little exercise to burn even more calories and pretty soon you’ll be fitting into those favorite pair of jeans again, which, by the way, will probably be out of style but that’s great news because can you say, “shopping spree?!”

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